Adopting a new voice with Ms. Magazine

Adopting a new voice with Ms. Magazine

By Valeria Diez Canseco

This summer, I had the opportunity to work as an editorial intern at Ms. magazine, the first feminist publication of its kind in the United States. As an International Relations and English major, interning at Ms. was a way for me to combine my two areas of study – politics and writing – while also fostering my feminist interests. For this reason, I was very excited to venture into the world of advocacy and journalism through this new medium.

My time at Ms. was devoted to editing and writing an array of pieces on reproductive rights, education, worldwide feminism, sexual violence, abortion access and more. I mostly focused on being the by-line for two columns – Ms. Global and Our Abortion Stories.

Ms. Global is a monthly column that I write with another Ms. intern and is focused on covering global news with a feminist lens across ten different countries. Writing this column put me outside of my comfort zone since I usually view writing as a solo activity – having to work in a pair was a little challenging, but I appreciated the teamwork at the end of the day. This column also gave me the chance to write about my own country, Peru, and showcase what the feminist movement looks like outside the U.S. This is something that I have always looked for while reading the news – as an international student in the U.S., it’s sometimes a challenge to keep a global perspective since reporting tends to be U.S.-focused across major news outlets. I also had the privilege of being chosen to write a global short takes section in the print version of Ms. where I got to put my fact-checking training into practice.

On the other hand, Our Abortion Stories is a bi-weekly column focused on abortion testimonies, both post and pre-Roe. As the by-line, my job mainly consisted of compiling testimonies from different sources, such as Planned Parenthood, Advocates for Youth, and Ms.’s Our Abortion Stories email – where people send their own testimonies to the magazine for publication. Reading through hundreds of abortion testimonies and having to choose 5 to 7 every two weeks was both draining and rewarding. Seeing the reproductive rights landscape in this manner gave me a more intimate and, therefore, better perspective of the advocacy we still need.

Being given this platform and having the incredible opportunity to be published both digitally and in print has been immensely rewarding. As someone with no background in journalistic writing, interning at Ms. showed me how much passion I have for this work and advocacy in general. Writing about reproductive healthcare access, interviewing experts, and getting a hands-on journalistic experience was so enriching that I’ve decided to continue my internship into this fall semester in order to further my learning of the craft.